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Armstrong: Even return to familiar place 'stressful'

Cut by an NFL eam one day and claimed by another team one thousand miles away the next day? Well, if you're receiver Anthony Armstrong, you got four hours to pack. You couldn't really move so you're now paying rent in two places. You're driving a rental car while you car sits up north.

And you spent seven hours learning a new playbook Tuesday while other players enjoyed a day off.

"It's kind of stressful," Armstrong said Wednesday after the Dolphins practice in preparation for Sunday's game against Houston. "But you embrace it and at least I'm employed and able to do that instead of being cut and out of football and having to figure out how to move back home."

"It has been a whirlwind, that's the perfect word for it. I go from supposedly on the team and getting ready for New Orleans to there's trade rumors and then I'm cut and going on to another team the next day. I had four hours to pack and I got here and had seven hours of playbook install with the coaches. It hasn't stopped yet. They've kept me pretty busy and I'm still getting used to coach (Joe) Philbin's schedule."

Armstrong was on the Dolphins practice squad in 2008 before being cut during training camp in 2009. He came to the Dolphins with great speed and an ability to get open deep. But his route running and hands were sketchy.

Well, his route-running is better. I cannot account for his hands. But he can still run. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill talked today about how well Armstrong "gets separation" on slant patterns.

"It's actually crazy and it's ironic," Armstrong said. "You leave and do some things in other places and now they bring you back to be what they wanted you to be way back then. Sometimes it goes that way. Sometimes it takes for you to kind of fall and let someone let you go and go develop somewhere else. You feel wanted. It's great."

So what's the different between the player who left Miami in 2009 and is returning in 2012?

"I think I've developed a lot better, one, as a man, and also as a receiver and a football player as a whole," Armstrong said. "I had some good coaches that I ran into who gave me pretty good sound work on fundamentals. Ike Hilliard was here and was up there (in Washington) for a brief time and learn much from him during that time frame. I'm always going to be able to run downfield, but it's important to be able to run underneath routes as well."

Armstrong has been getting the crash course in the Miami gameplan and playbook. He's not been asked to know the entire book, but rather the portions that he needs to know to contribute on Sunday.

"I try to learn the whole thing because it meakes it easier to understand it all," he said. "I'm pretty much up to speed with what they've given me so far. I'm not going to say I'm 100 percent but I'm probably pretty high 85-90 percent of what I need to know so far."

One advantage Armstrong does enjoy in returning to familiar surroundings: Despite the quick turn of events, he's in a familiar town. He's not getting lost on the highway.

"And," he said, "I know where all the good food spots are so that's pretty helpful."

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